Hello MFJ Readers.
This issue is
dedicated to my friend and mentor, Thomas
Leonard, who passed
away last Tuesday. Much of my inspiration and
technological know-how behind this journal is a direct result of
his tutelage and encouragement. I will miss him as will the Coaching industry. He was a generous and creative
genius, living his passion and his calling to the fullest.
Last week, his passing prompted in me the impulse to stop to ask
some serious questions, "Is what I'm doing really what I
need to be doing?...What I want to be doing? Am I avoiding my
true calling by staying busy with practical pursuits? If someone
so young and vital can be here one day and gone the next, am I
living my life such that it is complete enough for me to die
tomorrow?" These questions have raised for me the importance of
the issue I spoke about in last Tuesday's journal, on the day of
Thomas' death, the issue of "Callings."
Consequently, this short issue revolves around these questions. I have
also rescheduled our free one-hour teleclass
author of "Callings:
Finding and Following an Authentic Life,"
to Thursday, Feb. 20th, at 7 pm EST. See details below. Please
do attend if you can, as this is a unique opportunity to meet
Gregg, a very dynamic author and speaker, to discuss this issue,
so pressing to so many today.
If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an
article for consideration, please email
your ideas. I'd love to hear from you.
the Occasional "Patternus Interruptus"
Don't be afraid to yell
"stop!" to realign your group (or yourself) to the
fullness of its purpose.
There are many times during our work
with groups where it's appropriate to resist the momentum of the
group, to stop and look at the bigger picture, the
"gestalt" of the group dynamic. Groups and individuals
tend to follow habitual patterns of behavior that they've grown
comfortable with, often simply out of habit.
As a facilitator, be on guard for patterns of behavior that are
begging to be interrupted, and mine them for richer
Here are some examples of
opportunities to stop and dig deeper.
- Settling. The group is settling for a marginal result
to just "get it done," when they actually have the
time, resources, and the opportunity to build a brilliant result
by digging just a bit deeper, risking a little more, and
stretching themselves a bit.
- Conflict avoidance. Group members are withholding their
truth to avoid potential conflict among group members. Use
effective conflict resolution methods to turn this pungent soil
so that something more beautiful can grow from it.
- Business as usual. The group is getting things done in a
way that tends to always work for them, but their process lacks
"juice." Mix up the room and the process. Get people
to change position, play different roles, try a different
process, just to move into unexplored territory to see what
emerges. Facilitate exploration, just for the fun of it.
- Superficial focus. The group looks like they're on
course, but it appears they may be operating on superficial
assumptions or goals. Take time to help them look at the bigger
reason for being together. Are they operating in accordance with
their higher purpose, vision, mission?
- Stale mental maps. Group is operating based on worn out
assumptions about themselves. They may be fixated on solving a
cost problem when they could be focused on creating new revenue.
They could be stuck on what's not working rather than building
and expanding on what is working.
- More? Please email
us other examples you're run across in your
there an area of your life that deserves a pattern interrupt?
That is, a behavior pattern that is not as effective as it could
be that you've been reluctant to stop and look at? If so,
why not take ten minutes right now and journal about it? I'd
love to hear what shows up for you. Please email
us your comments.
Finding and Following an Authentic Life, by Gregg Levoy.
do we know if we're following our true callings? How do we
sharpen our senses to cut through the distractions of everyday
reality and hear the calls that are beckoning us?
Callings is the first book to examine the many kinds of calls we receive
and the great variety of channels through which they come to us.
A calling may be to do something (change careers, go back to
school, have a child) or to be something (more creative, less
judgmental, more loving). While honoring a calling's essential
mystery, this book also guides readers to ask and answer the
fundamental questions that arise from any calling: How do we
recognize it? How do we distinguish the true call from the siren
song? How do we handle our resistance to a call? What happens
when we say yes? What happens when we say no?
is a compassionate guide to discovering your own callings and
negotiating the tight passages to personal power and authenticity.
What is your calling?
What is your calling? If
you've found it, please send it to me in the form of a
short paragraph to ../contact.html
and I'll share with you all the inputs